Thinking small: Biden scrounges for ways to break through:
President Joe Biden walks to speak to reporters before boarding Air Force One at Des Moines International Airport, in Des Moines Iowa, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. (Carolyn Kaster | AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
As US President Biden’s domestic agenda stalls, he and his team look for ways to show the American people that they are still making progress. They are attempting to do this through small, discrete announcements. This was seen last week in his attempts to get more truck drivers on the road, him updating the Affordable Care Act with the support of former President Obama, and signing bipartisan legislation to help fund the US Postal Service. While all of the policies Biden is pushing will impact the lives of Americans, they fall short of the administration’s goals.
Home prices are insane, but at least there’s a silver lining on the tax front:
Housing prices continue to rise, though there is some good news for homebuyers. According to a recent report by data analytics company Attom, property taxes in 2021 only rose 1.6% despite a 16% increase in the prices of housing. The average tax rate on a single-family home in the U.S. last year rose from $3,719 to $3,785, the smallest increase in five years This is a marked reduction from the 5.4% increase from 2019 to 2020. Location was a major determiner in the changes in tax rates as 74% of the markets which saw increases above the national average were in smaller metro areas while many major markets, such as Pittsburgh and New Orleans, saw decreases in their average property taxes ranging from twenty to 30%.
U.S. to resume oil, gas drilling on public land despite Biden campaign pledge:
A 3D-printed oil pump jack is placed on dollar banknotes in this illustration picture, April 14, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
On Friday, the Biden Administration announced that it had resumed plans for oil and gas development on federal land, which could break one of the President’s pledges from his campaign. The plan, though calling for steeper royalties on the land and fewer acres being leased, was quickly denounced by environmental groups in the US and praised by the oil industry. This is the latest move to reform the leasing program used in the US as the administration faces pressure to address increasing energy prices. During his presidential campaign, Biden promised several times that he would end federal drilling auctions though that was halted by legal challenges from several Republican-led states. According to Randi Spivak, public lands director for the Center for Biological Diversity, “The Biden administration’s claim that it must hold these lease sales is pure fiction and a reckless failure of climate leadership.”